Knowledge Translation and Transfer, especially as practiced within the OMAFRA-UoG Partnership relies on access to information to generate and transfer knowledge. There are obstacles, however, to information access which require attention to a range of intellectual property rights and management considerations. The roles and rules of senders and receivers of knowledge, the media or channels used, as well as objectives such as partnership and financing requirements, all influence information access and knowledge flows.
In general, restrictions on information used for purposes of teaching and research training has not been a problem. However, even these uses of knowledge, under newly established and anticipated regulations, including UoG’s own UGFA collective agreement and the expiration of access copyright licenses within the UoG library system, are changing. Numerous questions are apparent, particularly for copyright holders and for those senders or receivers of information who face the decisions of what, when and how to digitize information through various media.
This project will examine information access and intellectual assets/property management in relation to knowledge and technology transfer in the OMAFRA/-UoG Partnership. The 18-month project will identify and review relevant policy as well as survey current practices and platforms for information access and dissemination. It will examine the issues within the context of one specific and practical case study of creating open access information for KTT – the Ontario Vegetable Crop Research Electronic Repository (OMAFRA-UoG Ridgetown Campus). Recommendations for ‘best practices’ will inform KTT activity and enhance and support all OMAFRA Research Theme priorities. The project results will inform knowledge transfer and translation within all the OMAFRA key strategic priority areas.
Every piece of information used for agri-food knowledge transfer within the public domain implicates intellectual asset management (e.g. ensuring open access) or intellectual property rights (e.g. copyright or licensing). Attention to information access is necessary for KTT in forms such as advisory services (agricultural information, communication, capacity development and learning) as well as technology transfer in the form of commercialized scientific knowledge, often involving public/private partnerships or negotiation among knowledge users. The proposed project examines these issues in relation to agri-food innovation and KTT in Ontario. The project will result in:
- best practices for information access and intellectual assets management identified for KTT;
- a case study of the Ontario Vegetable Crop Research Electronic Repository
- a type and number of interactions with external specialists, and internal stakeholders in UoG/OMAFRA working as a community of practice;
- awareness creation via a project website and info dissemination among all projects in the OMAFRA/UoG Partnership and KTT;
- stronger capacity among UoG faculty, graduate students and partners (e.g. KTT, BDO, OMAFRA) for information access and intellectual asset management that supports agri-food innovation processes.
The wider scope of this project’s impact on Ontario’s agri-food and rural affairs sector will ultimately be that there are more efficient and effective information flows and knowledge for economic and social development.